Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has found himself embroiled in a heated debate following his remarks on Sunday, targeting President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s age and health. The comments, made during a rally at The Democrats party camp, have sparked sharp reactions and disapproval from various quarters.
During the rally, Nasheed mocked President Solih, describing him as “old” and asserting that the Maldives now requires a young and educated leader. Nasheed candidly admitted that even he now realizes his age might hinder his ability to govern effectively.
“I am 56. The president is approaching 60. God willing, I don’t need to eat a handful of medicine in the morning. God willing, I have not put four stents in my heart,” Nasheed stated, drawing attention to President Solih’s health condition.
Advocating the idea that governance is best suited for the youth, Nasheed contended that individuals over 50 cannot fathom implementing tax systems or transportation policies. He directly addressed President Solih, suggesting that he has grown too old for the leadership position.
Unsurprisingly, Nasheed’s remarks were met with disapproval from members of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), President Solih’s supporters, and senior government officials. Presidential spokesperson Miuvan Mohammed expressed disappointment over Nasheed’s comments and accused him of resorting to “hateful remarks” after losing the primary.
Chief of Staff at the President’s Office, Ali Zahir, echoed the sentiment, asserting that their candidate, President Solih, would remain consistent and steadfast in his approach, refraining from making unrealistic promises or deceiving the public.
While some critics on social media considered Nasheed’s remarks to be overly personal, they acknowledged that the nation’s political history has witnessed worse narratives and accusations, including against Nasheed himself at times.
As the controversy unfolds, Nasheed faces criticism for his remarks, with many stating that such comments have damaged his standing and public support.